Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb idiomatic, transitive To surprise or shock; to discomfit.
  • verb nautical, usually passive Of a ship: to catch it with the sails aback suddenly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb surprise greatly; knock someone's socks off

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

(nautical) A square-rigged ship is taken aback when the wind blows on the front of the sails.

Examples

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